Episode 38 – Return to Oz

An all-new adventure down the yellow brick road.

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we return to the Emerald City and dig into some nostalgic childhood nightmare fuel with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge. This month’s topic is Disney’s weird and often terrifying continuation/quasi-sequel to the 1939 MGM classic: Return to Oz.

Dorothy Gale finds herself back in the Land Oz, after being rescued from a mental hospital by a mysterious girl. She finds the yellow brick road is crumbling, the Emerald City is in ruins, and its people turned to stone. Now, with a new group of strange companions, Dorothy must defeat both the villainous Nome King and the evil witch Mombi, rescue the Scarecrow, and restore an exiled princess to the throne.

Because all of the best children’s movies have body horror in them.

Black Ops Episode 9 – You Are Not a Mistake

In what is an ultra-MEGA-sized two-and-a-half hour episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we really run the gamut.

First, we talk about  popular culture we loved as kids, but are afraid to revisit, because we fear it won’t survive adult scrutiny. In Mike’s case that means a series of epic fantasy novels that he suspects both really hold up in some way, and really really really don’t in other.

We then talk about the evolving nature of stand-up comedy and the divergent attitudes of comics like Jerry Seinfeld, and Hannah Gadsby — and how many older comedians seem to desire to be “above” politics or social commentary. Is that even possible or desirable?

Do genre stories like science fiction and superheroes have a responsibility to touch on questions of social and cultural importance? Why do the calls for political neutrality usually seem to mask a right-wing agenda?

We get into bad movie theater experiences that stretches Mike’s aversion to confrontation to the breaking point, and dive into the thorny issues of intellectual property and online piracy.

And finally, things get a bit emotional when we talk about how profoundly powerful and deeply intimate the new documentary about Mister Rogers is.

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